Rep. Kinzinger mocked Madison Cawthorn for losing his seat in Congress after claiming 'RINO's would never beat him

Rep. Kinzinger mocked Madison Cawthorn for losing his seat in Congress after claiming 'RINO's would never beat him
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., watches results from the North Carolina primary election with staff, volunteers, family and friends at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Hendersonville, NC.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger mocked Rep. Madison Cawthorn over his primary defeat.
  • "This didn't age well," said Kinzinger of a video of Cawthorn pledging to beat the GOP establishment.

Republican Trump critic Rep. Adam Kinzinger celebrated MAGA firebrand Rep. Madison Cawthorn's defeat in the North Carolina primary and the loss of his seat in Congress.

"This didn't age well," tweeted Kinzinger Wednesday, with an old video of Cawthorn vowing to defeat the "RINOs" who set out to defeat him.

RINO, short for "Republican In Name Only," is a common taunt that populist Republicans directed at the establishment wing of the party, often those who oppose former President Donald Trump.

Cawthorn lost to Chuck Edwards, who is also a strong Trump supporter, but otherwise is a much more traditional Republican. Edwards is a state senator who, per The Washington Post, owns a local McDonald's franchise and enjoyed significant support for mainstream Republicans who wanted Cawthorn out.

In an interview with CNN later, Kinzinger said that Cawthorn's defeat was good news for the Republican Party and the nation.


"It's good for the country," Kinzinger told CNN's John Berman. "It's good for the party. It's good for the 11th District of North Carolina."

"D.C. has become kind of a growing ground for people that are just more interested in fame than governing, that are more interested in becoming famous than in actually doing the really serious work, at a time when we have a lot of challenges here at home and a lot of challenges overseas," Kinzinger added. "And so, it was a good thing he lost."

Cawthorn was elected to Congress aged only 26, and was viewed by some as a rising star in the Republican Party. He is an adamant ally of former President Donald Trump, and based his political brand around aggressively promoting Trump's agenda, and trolling enemies of the former president.

Among his favorite targets were Kinzinger and fellow GOP centrist Rep. Liz Cheney, both of whom are sitting on the House committee probing the Jan 6 riot and are longtime critics of Trump and his hold over the GOP.

Cawthorn and Kinzinger have long been bitter political enemies, with Cawthorn backing a primary opponent of Kinzinger before he decided not to seek reelection for his seat in Illinois in October 2021. Kinzinger has called for the GOP to purge itself of the influence of Cawthorn and other members of the pro-Trump far right.


Despite securing Trump's endorsement, Cawthorn crashed to defeat Tuesday amid a series of scandals and political blunders. He faced a damaging leaks about his personal life, after claiming that members of Congress were engaging in drug fuelled orgies.

Cheney is facing a primary opponent backed by Trump and his allies in her bid for reelection for her Wyoming seat.